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German bomb plot intended for World Cup: paper

Reuters | September 1 2006

Two failed attempts to bomb trains in western Germany in July had originally been planned for the football World Cup, a newspaper reported on Friday.

The Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung cited security sources as saying interrogation of the suspects had established that the would-be bombers had abandoned the original plan as they had considered the implications of such an attack.

One of the bombs was found in July on a train in Dortmund, which hosted some of June and July's World Cup matches. The other was found on a train in Koblenz.

Extracts of the article, released in advance of Saturday's publication, also said the suspects belonged to a "new generation of terrorists" who worked together in cells for a short time.

German police have said the bombs, crude devices made of propane gas, could have killed many people had they gone off.

A series of arrests have been made in Germany and Lebanon but Focus magazine reported in its online edition that two men being held in Beirut would not be delivered to Germany.

"They are Lebanese citizens, they must be tried here and be punished here," Focus quoted Lebanese Attorney General Said Mirza as saying.

Lebanese authorities have said the suspects may be linked to al Qaeda.

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